Dear Campaign Managers:
I have heard whisperings that some of your campaigns have hired consultants to learn Dr. Paul’s secret to raising over $5,000,000 in the last quarter. I wish I had known, I could have saved you quite a bit of time, and I could have made a tidy sum by telling you what I, and most Americans already know.
If you would bear with me, I would like to summarize where we stand right now.
There is a growing unease in America. The Republicans would have us believe that it is due to an ever expanding host of foreign threats. If you aren’t afraid of impending terrorist attacks, then you’re not trying hard enough. Not scared silly by those hordes of illegal immigrants who want to mow your lawn? What about Chinese petfood? Spanish grapes? Bird flu, anyone? I sometimes feel I’ve unwillingly been enrolled in a terror of the month club. Their message seems to be that it’s a terror filled world out there, Skippy, but here in America everything is ok, or at least it could be if we could just do something about that danged terror. Don’t worry though, those clever Republicans have got all kinds of ideas on how to save us – ideas ranging from invading foreign countries who even dare to look at us the wrong way, to injecting us with computer chips, to joining forces with those bastions of military and economic might, Canada and Mexico. It’s all about safety. “We’ll make you safe”, they promise.
The Democrats want us to believe we’re uneasy because we’re feeling insecure. “Don’t worry,” they say, “We’ll house you. We’ll feed you, we’ll give you health insurance, we’ll walk your dog and weed your lawn. And if you don’t have a lawn, we’ll grow one for you. We’ll give you money if you have a baby, and we’ll give you money if you’re only thinking about having a baby.” I wonder how long it will be before they propose putting a quarter in every condom package. Not a bad idea actually, because all Americans have the same feeling about the government in general, and politicians in particular: somebody’s gonna get screwed, and we all know who that somebody’s gonna be. At least with the “Quarters for Quondoms” initiative we’ll get paid for it.
The media, who used to be the allies of the people, are no longer. They want to be the directors of history instead of the recorders of it. The major news networks have already decided who the two frontrunners are; they even have the polling numbers to prove it (Hello, this is a friendly and totally unbiased polling company. We would like to ask you a totally unbiased and impartial question. Do you want Guiliani or Clinton to win?). And their rationale for their behaviour? They’re only telling us what we want to hear.
Everyone’s just telling us what we want to hear, or at least what the polls say we want to hear. Promising everything – everything that is, except the truth: We have lost our identity as a nation and as individuals of that nation. The Republicans have told us that if we question their policies we are un-American. The Democrats have legitimized illegal immigration to the point that the rights of Americans, which were once inalienable, are now very much, well, alienable. To be American has lost its meaning and uniting quality. We have been splintered into so many groups and subgroups that we have all become hyphened Americans. Are there any just plain ol’ Americans left? Perhaps even worse, on the national stage, we must now defend the honor of our name and our actions through force or out and out bribery. When in history did unquestionable honor ever truly need to be defended?
A long, long time ago, before gallup polls and campaign finance reform and PACS, we were a country of people who all wanted one thing: Freedom to determine our own lives. A country by the people and for the people. Back then, Patriots weren’t missiles that killed innocent people in foreign lands; they were Americans who believed in Freedom and were willing to fight and die for innocent people in this land.
I know, I know. It’s a quaint idea. Quirky even. Some might call it down right loony or even… crazy! And when you finish laughing, I’ll tell you the secret to Dr. Paul’s success.
But, let’s start with what Dr. Paul doesn’t have.
Clearly he doesn’t have Romney’s Donny and Marie good looks (are they related?), Giuliani’s unwavering dedication to his personal motto (“I am the 9/11 man! Wanna see my tattoo?”) or Huckabee’s perfect understanding of God’s will (I believe in a God who loves me, and who wants me to torture people). Congressman Paul certainly doesn’t promote the single minded platform of the Democratic Candidates (“Throw the bums out! No, not us… the other bums!”) – he’s lacking Edward’s sincere interest in the hair styling arts, Obama’s celebrity friends network, Hillary’s heartwarming laugh or any of their willingness to shower you with money that they, and we, don’t have.
So, what is Dr. Paul’s secret? What is he doing? Simply this: He’s reminding us what it means to be American. Sure, he’s talking about Liberty, about the Constitution, about the Rights of Citizens, but what he’s really saying is, “Look here – this is what we came from; this is what we must return to. We were united once, not as sub-classed victims of our leaders’ whims, but as equal individuals. We can be united again. We were a sovereign nation once; we can be again. We once lead the world, not through force, but through integrity and ingenuity. We can do this again.” He has reminded us of what the government has clearly demonstrated through its handling of the Hurricane Katrina aftermath: In the final analysis, we as individuals are responsible for our own lives. The safety of our families and the integrity of our communities lies, not within the realm of the government, but with each of us. It’s such a simple message, but one so many know to be true. A message that has been waiting for someone brave enough to say it out loud.
Is it quixotic? Maybe. Is it crazy? In today’s climate, almost certainly. But more importantly, is it possible? I honestly don’t know, but I can tell you this: there are at least 5,000,000 George Washingtons out there who want to find out.
I hope this has provided you with some insight, although I think it more likely that your consultants will tell you something you like better. Something you want to hear. And that’s the name of the game, really, isn’t it?